Nik is pursuing a joint PhD in economics (university of Leuven) and development studies (university of Antwerp), within the framework of a PhD fellowship from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

In his PhD research, he focuses on the micro-empirical analysis of development issues, with a specific interest in natural resource management and the economics of conflict.

His work has so far focused on Sub Saharan Africa, especially Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Currently, his main research project studies the mining sector in eastern DRC. Detailed information can be found under social minefield.

More general information about his research projects can be accessed here.